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    Posted August 26, 2014 by
    McGaheysville, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Company Weight Loss Challenge Helped Me Lose

    I have been overweight since I was 8 years old. I remember being teased on the bus about being overweight. The boys looked at my differently because I was not the thin girl at the pool. There is that awful memory of being weighed in elementary school and seeing a number over 100 pounds. As a child I remember sneaking food and eating after everyone had gone to bed. My parents tried to help, but discussing my weight just made me feel worse and eat more.

    During a few years of high school/college I did get fed up with being fat and dieted, yes that horrible D word. One of these I successfully lost 80 to 100 pounds and some of my hair. Of course this could not have been healthy and the weight did not stay off. This was a result of not changing my lifestyle and eating habits. Instead I picked a get thin quick scheme and temporarily got what I wanted. Over time I put all that weight back on and then some. This was the same pattern over and over for more than a decade. I would take a little off and then put it back on.

    After the birth of my daughter in 2007, I decided it was time to make a change. I began losing weight but without a real support system and guidance the process was slow. At the time I was not aware of what would lead me toward success, which was encouragement and a support system. Luckily, my company was formulating just the program that I needed.

    In 2009, they introduced Biggest Healthiest Loser. My friend encouraged me to sign up and thank goodness I did. This started the journey I have been on for the last five years. This adventure to create a thinner, healthier me has been an amazing one. There has been pain, physical and mental, moments of weakness and places where I lost focus, direction and sight of my goals. I have learned over time to not beat myself up for bumps in the road but instead to pick myself up and got back on track.

    Why did I sign up for Biggest Healthiest Loser? It was the need to fight and win this lifelong battle with my weight. I had been struggling with this for over 20 years, and I wanted to change. I wanted to show my children an example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. I don’t want them to feel the pain of being an overweight child or living with the battle that I have faced. I fought to make this change for myself, my children and to show others that it can be done.

    This is a fight that won't end with a number on the scale. Sure the goal weight is great to see, but this struggle will be ever present in my life and mind. I will have to live the rest of my life making the right decisions to prevent the weight from returning. Just as an alcoholic will have a predisposition to pick it up again, my body has definitely picked the weight up again and again through the years. This battle must remain in my life.

    I have learned through this amazing journey that my struggles and successes have inspired others. This is a truly awesome side effect of this process. However, in the end it has been up to me to fulfill this obligation to myself and my family.

    I have met some amazing people throughout this journey. I have completed two half marathons, a Warrior Dash and numerous 5-10K runs. I have formed a blog about my journey that helps me through the rough days and celebrate the successful ones.

    The only advice I have for others setting out to accomplish a goal is:

    Start today! Don't put it off one more day. Gain the support of those around you because they will be your encouragement and help guide you through. If you fall off, get right back on. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses for something that you want. Go out and do it!
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